Dahlkemper Continues to Deliver on Fiscal Responsibility Print E-mail
Wednesday, 14 July 2010 15:52

New waste-cutting legislation will go to the president for signature

Washington— Today, Congresswoman Kathy Dahlkemper voted to reduce waste, fraud and abuse of taxpayer dollars by cutting out improper and excessive payments from federal agency spending. The Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act, which will now go to President Obama for signature, will help identify, reduce and eliminate improper payments, as well as recover lost funds that federal agencies have spent improperly.

“More than any other issue, Western Pennsylvanians have told me how concerned they are about government spending. As a small business owner, I share their common-sense point of view that we need to spend only where it’s smart and cut back where it’s not. This bill—which I hope the president will quickly sign into law—is a critical step in cracking down on the waste of taxpayer dollars by helping identify and eliminate improper payments by federal agencies,” said Rep. Dahlkemper. “The bill provides the transparency and accountability that the American people deserve and my constituents have demanded.”

Federal agencies spent $98 billion of taxpayer funds on improper payments in 2009, according to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). That is more than double the total budget for the Department of Homeland Security.  This legislation includes provisions to increase transparency, prevent improper payments, recover overpayments, and hold federal agencies accountable.

The bill, which Rep. Dahlkemper cosponsored, will require agencies to develop and report on action plans to avoid future wasteful spending.  It will lower the threshold for reporting improper payments, increase audits to hold agencies accountable, and make top agency managers responsible for reducing improper payments.  With Rep. Dahlkemper’s support, this bill was passed today and will now be sent to the president’s desk for his signature.

“This bill is about holding the federal government responsible when using taxpayer dollars,” said Rep. Dahlkemper. “For too long, leadership in Washington did not walk the walk on fiscal responsibility. I’m proud to say over the past year, we’ve enacted both pay-as-you-go legislation and successfully pushed for a fiscal commission to help reign in federal spending. Today’s legislation that combats wasteful spending and ensures that taxpayer dollars are being used efficiently is the next step to get our fiscal house in order.”

Democrats in Congress are working to restore fiscal discipline and bring down the deficit after eight years of mismanagement by the Bush administration.  President Bush turned a record budget surplus into a trillion dollar deficit.  Now, Members of Congress like Rep. Dahlkemper are going after waste, fraud and abuse to bring down the deficit.

In addition to PAYGO, Congress passed a FY2011 budget which limits discretionary spending $7 billion below the president’s budget and passed the IMPROVE Acquisition Act to save taxpayers an estimated $27 billion a year by cleaning up defense acquisition spending.  Congresswoman Dahlkemper is making the tough choices to put America back on a path to fiscal responsibility.